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Dev Cell. 2011 May 17;20(5):677-88. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.04.009.

MPK-1 ERK controls membrane organization in C. elegans oogenesis via a sex-determination module.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63110, USA.

Abstract

Tissues that generate specialized cell types in a production line must coordinate developmental mechanisms with physiological demand, although how this occurs is largely unknown. In the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite, the developmental sex-determination cascade specifies gamete sex in the distal germline, while physiological sperm signaling activates MPK-1/ERK in the proximal germline to control plasma membrane biogenesis and organization during oogenesis. We discovered repeated utilization of a self-contained negative regulatory module, consisting of NOS-3 translational repressor, FEM-CUL-2 (E3 ubiquitin ligase), and TRA-1 (Gli transcriptional repressor), which acts both in sex determination and in physiological demand control of oogenesis, coordinating these processes. In the distal germline, where MPK-1 is not activated, TRA-1 represses the male fate as NOS-3 functions in translational repression leading to inactivation of the FEM-CUL-2 ubiquitin ligase. In the proximal germline, sperm-dependent physiological MPK-1 activation results in phosphorylation-based inactivation of NOS-3, FEM-CUL-2-mediated degradation of TRA-1 and the promotion of membrane organization during oogenesis.

PMID:
21571224
PMCID:
PMC3098718
DOI:
10.1016/j.devcel.2011.04.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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